One of my favorite memories of my Grandma Green, my dad's mother, is watching her cook. She fried chicken in Crisco in an electric skillet...she rolled steamed cabbage leaves around meatballs and stewed them in tomato sauce..she mixed cooked macaroni noodles with shredded cheddar cheese, milk, & lots of black pepper...she baked the best bread.
I can still picture her hands--tanned, thin skin...fingers crooked with arthritis--kneading the dough.
Homemade bread was a meal in itself...warm from the oven, slathered with salted butter...sometimes with homemade blackberry jam.
Last fall, as I was cleaning out my dad's house, I found this:
It's Grandma's bread recipe, written by my dad. Apparently, before Grandma died in 2011 (she was 96), my dad watched her make bread and wrote down what she did.
In April, I tried this recipe. Things seemed to be going well. The dough rose as it should, and the loaf looked pretty good out of the oven.
However, when I cut it I noticed that the bread was too tense in the middle. I should have let it rise longer in the loaf pan pre-baking OR I should have just dumped it into the pan without rolling it up. I think it would have retained some of its lightness that way.
Nevertheless, it was fun to try this family recipe...and to decipher what dad's notes meant. Perfecting Grandma's homemade bread is my goal for the fall...stay tuned!